The LA Times reported today that Angel starter Kelvim Escobar signed a three-year extension with the club for $28.5 million. The article also mentions that Escobar turned down a Spring Training offer from the club for two-years and $15 million. The club has reservations about Escobar's durability following arthroscopic surgery last season but were suitably impressed with his durability this season to tack the extra year on to his deal.
The Times speculates that Escobar could have gotten more money in free agency which is (if he remains healthy) undoubtedly true. But Escobar gave the team a 'home-town discount' and explains why:
"Who doesn't want to play here?" Escobar said. "This organization should be in the top two or three in baseball."
--Kelvim Escobar quoted in today's LA Times
So with Escobar under wraps until '09 the Angels next potential free-agent from the rotation is Bartolo Colon who is signed through next season. With Colon's recent health concerns it is likely the Angels will wait until after the season at the earliest before they consider offering their ace an extension. John Lackey is signed through 2008 and the club controls Ervin Santana through the 2011 season. If Jeff Weaver were to continue pitching like he has his past two games he could provide valuable insurance should Colon's health remain iffy or they opt for a lower-cost option to fill-out the rotation.
The Angels pitching staff appears positioned to remain a power in the major leagues. With the emergence of Jered Weaver (hopefully) and Ervin Santana, the Angels could have one of the younger rotations which can be kept intact for many years. Now Bill Stoneman needs to turn his attention to getting the Halo's some hitting help ASAP.